Okay, the image above is a 'before'. We've got TWO big outdoor projects we're trying to complete before July 4. Mission One (accepted): create a DIY low cost but elegant and functional patio. Our patio materials? Compacted stone dust lined with the cobblestone pavers. We chose stone dust because it can be used as a base for the blue stone patio we can't afford yet. First, Mr. Man dug out about 12 inches of dirt following the edges of my garden beds, pitching the slope away from the house.
He analyzed the elevation of the yard (our entire yard slopes significantly) using a laser level and determined we needed two steps down to the grass (based on 5 inch stone risers). He marked key elevations using bamboo stakes and put down weed blocker fabric. Then we (were you wondering where I came in?) unloaded a 1/2 pallet of antique cobblestones into the backyard.
Our cobblestones used to be in a road in Holyoke and were dug up many moons ago when asphalt was put down. Mr. Man has kept these lumbering large pieces of granite for over a decade. They are beautiful and HEAVY. I must be in better shape than I thought, because moving all these out of a basement wasn't as hard as I thought it would be. USE YOUR LEGS, NOT YOUR BACK!
Then we hauled in and dumped (via Mr. Man's SERIOUS truck) 3 cubic yards of stone dust. We temporarily removed part of our fence to get the stone dust actually IN the backyard.
Stone dust is great for now, because we can put blue stone on top of it eventually. Mr. Man leveled the surface with a long 2x4 and compacted it to make a nice steady surface for a table and chairs. Very Italian (we hope.) We still have a lot of work to do, but I didn't want to make you wait any longer for a general idea of what's going on. Here's where we are now! Ask any questions you have in the comments!!!!